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Five steps to getting a BPM project off the ground

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
June 7, 2013

Business process management (BPM) software offers organizations an opportunity to automate and streamline key processes, improving operational efficiency and creating new revenue opportunities. Getting a BPM project off on the right foot is vital to making the most of the technology, and there are few key steps to keep in mind when establishing a foundation for BPM success.

Start with data, but don't get stuck there

Data and analytics provide vital guidance about what a company needs to improve. Observations and anecdotal evidence can be helpful when it comes to process improvement, but the most effective strategies are usually backed by data because statistics are not prone to human error. Using data as the starting point to complement observations about what a company needs to improve is a solid starting point for BPM initiatives. However, it can be easy to get so caught up in detailed data that organizations miss the big picture. Moving beyond pure data analysis early in a BPM project is key.

Get employees involved in the conversation

Data can provide initial goals. Moving from foundational data to discussions with workers can help leaders take initial process ideas and narrow them down to specific improvements that can position employees to get the job done more effectively.

Identify the right software

BPM software plays a vital role in taking the principles behind process improvement and translating them into operational gains. A good BPM solution will automate processes, integrate operations between departments and connect diverse technologies into an ecosystem that simplifies end-user operations. Finding the right software for a company's process goals is vital to moving from conceptual stages of a project to successful implementation.

Run a pilot program

Many people are hesitant to accept major changes unless they know the adjustments will benefit them. A good pilot eases this concern in two ways. First, it helps leaders identify any minor glitches or issues that may get in the way of end users when the program is deployed in production. Secondly, an effective pilot will create champions - employees who understand the benefits of the technology and can go back to their peers and talk about how exciting the program can be.

Don't get complacent

Process needs change on an ongoing basis. The final step to getting a good project off the ground is to never consider it a finished project. It may be ready for use. It may even transform a business. But a BPM project never really finishes because operational needs change all the time. Maximizing the value of BPM technology and principles hinges on being able to continually refine the solution.

Malcolm Ross

Vice President of Product Marketing

Malcolm Ross